Danish Army

Denmark has said its soldiers will be trained to deal with Russian disinformation before they join a NATO mission in Estonia in January.

The move announced by the defence minister, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, follows an incident in Estonia's Baltic neighbour Lithuania in February, when a fake news report allegedly planted by Russia led to a German soldier being accused of rape.

 That rumour was spread on social media in an apparent move to discredit the NATO mission there. Mr Frederiksen said Denmark must protect its soldiers from similar incidents:

"We can see that the Russians are very active. It's a top priority, because we won't risk that the Danish forces are challenged by fake news and allegations."

Nearly two hundred Danish soldiers are being sent to Tapa in northern Estonia next year to replace a French contingent.

The president of the soldiers' union, Flemming Winther, said there was little doubt that soldiers would be the target of fake news:

"They'll be in Estonia. We know from other foreign soldiers who have been in Estonia that they are exposed to fake news, slander, and harassment.”

"No doubt there will be stories, but then we must figure out how to expose the stories for what they are - lies and deception."